Overlook

An ancient city built upon the eastern slope of the Stonehome Mountains. To the city’s west is the fortress of Bordrin’s Watch and beyond that a wasteland inhabited by orcs, goblinoids, and other monstrous creatures; to the east is the Westdeep and beyond that the Elsir Vale.

The city is home to about 12,000, mostly dwarves, humans, and halflings but also a smattering of the other races. Approximately 5,000 more live in smaller settlements scattered on the lower slopes. The city’s economy is based largely on trade of goods, services, and information, though there is also a robust mining industry thanks to mineral veins in the surrounding mountains. It is governed by the Council of Elders, a group of five dwarves, advised by eight representatives, one from each of the city’s eight officially recognized districts.

Although the city depends on Bordrin’s Watch to endure most of the attacks from the west, the city is not without its own defenses. The dwarves erected steep walls to protect themselves, but as the city outgrew its original protections, the inhabitants raised more walls to encircle the growing population. So far, this has happened four times, giving the city four sets of walls, one inside of the other. The shantytown, the unofficial ninth district, grows beyond the eastern walls and it’s just a matter of time before the Council decides to raise another wall and add those squatters to the rest of the city.

Districts

  • Blister – The Blister is a rough-and-tumble section of the city, populated by mercenaries, adventurers, and the usual sort of traveling folk with few roots. Characterized by a great number of winesinks, taverns, pleasure dens, gambling halls, and bordellos, Blister is not a place to get lost.
  • The Boneyard – Occupying the southeast corner of Overlook, Boneyard has every distasteful business and venture, including everything from the city’s slaughterhouses, renderers, tanners, dyers, and even the city’s graveyards.
  • Elftown – Elftown covers the northwestern corner of the inner city and takes its name from the one elf to live there some seventy years ago. The community consists of upscale and well-off entrepreneurs, merchants, bankers, lawyers, physicians, and other members of Overlook’s upper crust, and many folk elsewhere want to inhabit a small house on the edge of this fine quarter.
  • The Forgeworks – The Forgeworks, or just the Forge, is a middle-class district given over to successful artisans, tradesfolk, and other men and women who work hard and are successful in their professions. More than half of the buildings here are workshops with apartments overhead. Warehouses, businesses, stables, and other places of industry round out the rest. The Forgeworks stands in the Middle City, south of Tradetown.
  • High Hall – High Hall, or the Old City, is where the city leaders convene to govern Overlook. Few folk still live in High Hall since nearly every inch of available space is given over to the various ministries making up the city’s government. Thus, aside from a few extremely wealthy folks, most people funnel out of High Hall at the end of the day to head home to Elftown, Stonehammer, or elsewhere.
  • Nine Bells – Nine Bells district takes its name for the nine temples found in the heart of the district. Since these temples cater to the sick and the poor, this district draws the hungry, the diseased, and the destitute to its streets. Before the walls were raised here, Nine Bells was a place of great wealth — a community favored by those rich citizens who wanted to escape the clamor of the city. However, after it was annexed along with Blister and the Boneyard, the estates were abandoned and the folks fled to Stonehammer or Elftown to escape the flood of destitute people that washed into the place. Now, Nine Bells is the worst part of the city and is ever a source of embarrassment for the city’s elite.
  • Stonehammer – Stonehammer occupies the southern half of the inner city, and it wraps around High Hall up to the Dwarfroad. Like Elftown, Stonehammer is home to the wealthy citizens of Overlook, specifically the dwarves. Since this district is cleaner, safer, and more exclusive than other parts of the city, great deal of resentment exists toward the folks of Stonehammer from those of lower means and status.
  • Tradetown – Tradetown is a melting pot of all races, cultures, and occupations. In many ways, Tradetown is a lot like the Blister, but it has been established for longer and it has a mix of fabulous wealth and appalling poverty. Tradetown, as one might expect, is a commercial and retail district, where merchants, tradesfolk, and prospectors come to do business. Most middle-tier business-inclined people have homes here and gather in coffee houses, upscale bars, and bathhouses to do business. In stark contrast to the bustling commerce, Tradetown is also home to a powerful thieving guild named the Lost Ones. A clandestine organization, they have agreements with nearly all the major enterprises here, offering protection (or rather exemption) from thievery and the promise to leave their customers alone.

Outside the city walls sits an unofficial ninth district. Shantytown is a wretched maze of tents, shacks, and rotting wooden buildings, and it is home to the poorest and most desperate of people that have nowhere else to go. Most of Shantytown’s people are refugees from other lands, victims of tragedy and circumstance, or exiles who keep a low profile so they can go about their wicked business without attracting attention. Thus, Shantytown’s people are beggars, destitute farmers, maimed adventurers, undead, necromancers, cultists, and worse, all thrown together in one of the most desperate spots in the region.

Overlook

Liberated Souls kevinb_cmu